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The Raskin Running Diary Returns! The Brooklyn Quadrupleheader (Part II)

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MalignaggiCano Hogan78The Saturday Showtime card kept Raskin awake almost the whole time, which is a compliment to that network. (Hogan)

If you missed Part I of the dramatic return of the Raskin running diary yesterday, click here, laugh a little, cry a little, and then come right back to this page. Now without further delay, let’s get to Part II, live from my living room by way of Brooklyn’s Barclays Center:

10:30 p.m. ET: No one will ever accuse Paulie Malignaggi of possessing impressive pop, but he sure gets an impressive pop from the local crowd as he appears on the big screen and begins his ring walk. Unfortunately, he’s being led to the ring by some rapper I don’t recognize (new Twitter friend @BarberOvDaYear tells me it’s a Brooklyn rapper named Maino) and the sound system is terrible and it’s killing the buzz of Paulie’s grand entrance. I’m trying to process the fact that The House That Jay-Z Built lacks quality rap acoustics.

10:33: Pablo Cesar Cano wins the battle of ring entrances just by having that guy with the mariachi outfit and the skeleton mask waving the Mexican flag for him.

10:35: Your referee for Malignaggi-Cano: Steve Smoger. Watch and learn, Mercante.

10:42: Cano is cut on the left eyelid during the second round (ruled the result of a punch), and a closeup in the corner reveals that it is a wide, nasty one. Cano, who weighed in 1.2 pounds over the welterweight limit and thus is ineligible to win Malignaggi’s alphabet belt, could have used that cut the day before to bleed his way down to 147. Oh well, hindsight’s always 20/20, right?

10:47: Nice shot at ringside of Zab Judah, a.k.a. “the guy Garcia should be fighting in tonight’s main event in Brooklyn instead of a Mexican opponent he defeated comfortably seven months ago.” Seated next to Judah is publicist Kelly Swanson, getting herself some quality screen time. Eat your heart out, Fred Sternburg.

10:58: This fight is quite good and seems about even here in the sixth round, but I’m starting to nod off anyway because, well, we’re getting into past-my-bedtime territory. And if I want to power nap for two minutes, then dammit, that’s just what I’m going to do. Yet another perk of being at home and not on press row.

11:00: At the midway point, Farhood and Bernstein both have Cano ahead 58-57, while Trout shockingly has it 60-55 for Malignaggi! Trout then proceeds to defend his card with some weak BS about Cano having to take the title from the champion. I’m enjoying the broadcast stylings of Trout less and less as this card wears on. (For the record, of the boxers Showtime has tried out since suspending Tarver, Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson was easily my favorite.)

11:03: We get another closeup of Cano’s cut in the corner heading into the eighth round, and, yikes, it’s gotta be about three-quarters of an inch wide. This prompts me to tweet something that can not be repeated in a family-friendly column such as this one. But you can go ahead and scroll through my Twitter feed if you want. You’ll know it when you see it.

11:14: Cano lands a couple of excellent left hooks in the 10th, but Tompkins declares it a good round for Malignaggi as the bell clangs. In all honesty, I’m not paying close enough attention to score the fight accurately. I’m too busy fighting off sleep, taking notes for this running diary, tweeting, and congratulating myself on my popular off-color tweet from 11 minutes earlier. (One guy even declared it “tweet of the year.” I was thinking more along the lines of “tweet of the century,” but I suppose I’ll settle for the understated compliment.)

11:19: With 20 seconds to go in round 11, a perfect right hand over the top from Cano lands on Paulie’s chin and drops him! Malignaggi gets up and says he’s fine, but that one punch turned this into a situation where it’s now going to feel like a hometown robbery if Paulie gets the decision. (Although, again, I should make clear that I’m not scoring carefully. I’m just saying it feels like Cano is ahead.)

11:23: At the final bell, the fighters share an authentic embrace and then both get carried around the ring on their cornermen’s shoulders. I check the scoring of people I follow on Twitter, and not a single person has Malignaggi winning.

11:26: So, of course, the judges have Malignaggi winning. One judge scores it 118-109 for Cano, which seems fairly ludicrous, while the other two both give it to Paulie, 114-113. The crowd boos passionately. Yes, the Brooklyn crowd boos the decision going to the Brooklyn fighter.

11:28: Malignaggi scores some points after the fight when Gray, as he tends to do, leans on the crutch of building his questions around the punch stats, and Malignaggi responds, “CompuBox, a lot of times, they gotta get their LensCrafters on.” The punch stats are an interesting point of discussion and analysis, nothing more. They do not tell you who won the fight. (Although I’m sure if the stats had come out in Malignaggi’s favor, he would have offered them up as proof that the decision was correct.)

11:39: As the main event fighters make their way to the ring, the Showtime crew tip-toes around the Morales/USADA controversy. They’re acknowledging the facts, but nobody seems to want to offer an opinion on it. Personal aside: Morales and I are just about the same age and he won his first title less than a week after I began my career in boxing journalism. Over the ensuing 15 years, my hair has changed color considerably more than his, but his nose has changed shape considerably more than mine.

11:45: The main event is underway! Phew. I was certain Garcia was going to pull out at the last minute rather than face a weight-drained old man for a million dollars.

11:47: To the soundtrack of “Dan-ny! Dan-ny!” chants, Garcia gets the better of a well paced opening round, though “El Terrible” does land one particularly crackling counter left hook.

11:56: Garcia buckles Morales’ knees with a right hand at the bell to end round three, and Erik stumbles back to the wrong corner. My opinion that this rematch would be a waste of everyone’s time is on its way to being validated.

11:58: As round four begins, Cortez weighs in with his analysis. Thank goodness he’s here to let us know that the ref will be watching Morales closely.

11:59: A perfect left hook from Garcia causes Morales to do a 180-degree pirouette, then coil back 180 degrees in the opposite direction and crash to the canvas with his body hurtling halfway through the ropes. Before ref Benji Esteves can begin to count, one of Morales’ cornermen runs into the ring, then runs back out, but Esteves waves off the fight. It could be ruled a disqualification, but instead it goes into the books as a knockout. Whatever it is, it’s a sad scene. GBP is going to have a hard time moving forward with plans for Garcia-Morales III.

12:04 a.m.: As Gray interviews him, Garcia asks him in which round the knockout came, and Gray says it was the fifth. Actually, it was the fourth. I guess that information wasn’t conveniently listed anywhere in the punch stats. Meanwhile, Garcia comes off as a tremendously likeable guy. Some folks might find his dad abrasive, but I wouldn’t hold that against Danny. And we should get used to seeing Garcia’s face and hearing him interviewed because with two months to go in the year, he’s the leading candidate for Fighter of the Year honors.

12:08: Morales more or less announces his retirement (again) in his interview with Gray, saying something about an easy farewell fight in Tijuana and then that will be the end. BK thanks Morales moments later for “years and years of warrior-ship.” Every boxing fan on the planet co-signs that one.

12:14: Kenny wraps up the telecast, and I get to go to bed. This long night of fights offered a representative sample of the best and worst that boxing has to offer. We got two very good fights, one of which ended in a mildly controversial hometown decision; we got one painfully boring fight; and we got one brief, depressing mismatch. And ultimately, we got a reasonable argument in favor of the Showtime quadrupleheader: You give ’em enough quantity, and odds are you’ll also give ’em some quality.

Hope you enjoyed the running diary. Let’s do it again when Garcia vs. Judah makes “history” at the Barclays Center in February.

Eric Raskin can be contacted at RaskinBoxing@yahoo.com. You can follow him on Twitter @EricRaskin and listen to new episodes of his podcast, Ring Theory, at http://ringtheory.podbean.com.

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Murata vs Brant: Live results from Las Vegas, NV

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Ryota Murata, hailing from Japan, hopes to be successful this Saturday night against the American fighter Robert Brant, with the intentions of then facing Gennady Golovkin as his next opponent.

Our reporter, Marcelino Castillo, is providing live coverage tonight from the Park Theater at Park MGM in Las Vegas.  This fight is promoted by Top Rank Boxing and is scheduled to air live on ESPN+ in the U.S. at 10:30 p.m. EST.

Results:

First bout: David Kaminsky beat Noah La Coste by TKO in two rounds. The fight was stopped with 40 seconds remaining in the second round.

Second bout: Adam Lopez dominated Héctor Ambriz, winning by technical knockout in 1:28 of the eighth round.

Third bout: In a duel between Puerto Ricans, Jose Adorno and Kevin Cruz, Adorno won a unanimous decision. Official cards: 59-53; 59-53; 58-54.

Fourth bout: Vladimir Nikitin dominated this fight, winning by unanimous decision over Clay Burns in six rounds. Official cards: 59-55; 59-55; 59-55

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Saul Sanchez Wins in Ontario, CA

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ONTARIO, CA- Saul Sanchez remained undefeated after a tumultuous battle against Mexico’s Fernando Saavedra to win by majority decision to the dismay of a small crowd on Friday.

In a battle of bantamweights at the Doubletree Hotel, it was Pacoima’s Sanchez (11-0, 6 KOs) who started quicker but San Luis Potosi’s Saavedra (7-6, 3 KOs) closed the gap in the latter half of the fight in front of a boisterous crowd of maybe 400 fans.

Sanchez nearly floored Saavedra in the first 20 seconds of the fight when a three-punch combination had the Mexican fighter wobbled. It spurred Sanchez to go on the attack, ultimately leading to a toe-to-toe battle.

The quicker hands and feet of Sanchez proved troubling for Saavedra, who needed the Southern Californian to stand still. That seldom happened in the first four rounds.

But though neither boxer seemed to tire, Sanchez began getting trapped against the ropes and allowing Saavedra to connect with powerful blows. The last three rounds were especially close and Sanchez was able to slip more blows than Saavedra. But each never ready to quit.

After eight bantamweight rounds, two judges scored it 77-75 for Sanchez and one had it 76-76 a draw. Sanchez was deemed the winner by majority decision.

Many fans were angry by the decision.

Other bouts

Corona’s Louie Lopez (5-0, 3 KOs) remained undefeated with a solid performance over Bakersfield’s Ray Cervera (0-2), a resilient super welterweight. Lopez was able to use his quick left hooks to score in every round but Cervera had a good chin and was able to counter with rights. No knockdowns were scored in the four round fight and all three judges scored the fight 40-36.

Oscar Torrez (3-0, 1 KO) knocked down Richard Soto (0-1) in the last round to assure a victory by unanimous decision in an entertaining heavyweight fight. Torrez fights out of Rialto, CA and is trained by Henry Ramirez who also trains Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola. The two heavyweights seemed evenly matched for the first two rounds, with Soto having his best round in the second when he continually landed one-two combinations with good effect. But Torrez resumed control of the fight in the third by using the jab, then mixing up his attack. In the fourth round, Torrez unleashed a 10-punch barrage that dropped Soto in the corner. The fighter from Northern California got up and survived the round but was unable to turn things around. Two judges scored it 39-36 and another had it 40-35, all for Torrez.

Anthony Franco (3-1-1) took time to warm up before scoring a knockdown and defeating Kansas fighter Antonio L. Hernandez (1-4) by decision after four rounds in a super welterweight contest. In the third round, Franco slipped under a left by Hernandez who tripped and when he turned was met by a perfect left that knocked down the Kansas boxer. Though he wasn’t hurt, it changed the complexion of a close fight in favor of Franco who lives in Redlands, CA. All three judges scored it for Franco 38-35, 39-36, 38-37.

Tijuana’s Rafael Rivera (26-2-2, 17 KOs) ripped into Guanajuato’s Jose Ramos (11-15-1, 8 KOs) with a savage attack to win by knockout in the first round. A barrage of blows sent Ramos backward dangling over the ropes. Referee Ray Corona ruled it a knockdown and let the fight continue. Rivera resumed the attack and blistered the taller Ramos with blinding punches forcing the fight to be stopped at 1:51 of the first round. It was Rivera’s first fight since losing to Joet Gonzalez by split decision last July in Los Angeles.

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Pacquiao-Broner: A Perfect Fight for Pacquiao and the Good Guy Wins

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Various sites are reporting that eight division titlist Manny Pacquiao 60-7-2 (39) will meet four division title winner Adrien Broner 33-3-1 (24) in December or January with Manny’s WBA regular welterweight title on the line. The fight hasn’t been confirmed yet but here’s how you know it’ll happen, and that is the fight makes dollars and sense for the super-star involved and that’s Manny Pacquiao.

Pacquiao signed with adviser/promoter Al Haymon – with the hope of getting a rematch with Floyd Mayweather in 2019. Haymon is tied to Mayweather and Broner and most of the top welterweights in the sport – including world champions Errol Spence, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. Manny lost a unanimous decision to Mayweather in May of 2015 and has longed for a rematch ever since. And ironically, neither Mayweather nor Pacquiao want any parts of taking on a young gun boxer in his prime. Both Terence Crawford, the WBO title holder, and Errol Spence, the IBF titlist, would take apart and embarrass both of them and there’s a sound case to make that both would’ve been okay tangling with Floyd and Manny even during their prime.

However, Mayweather and Pacquiao are businessman first and fighters second at this time and that’s been the case for quite a while. Manny only has interest in facing Mayweather again because he seeks revenge and Floyd will be 42 and coming off a long period of being inactive by the time they face off. As for Mayweather, he’d rather partake in big money fiascos where he can continue to gouge the public in WWE gimmicks against elite MMA fighters like Conor McGregor, his last opponent, or McGregor’s recent conqueror Khabid Nurmagomedov.

The only real boxer Floyd would entertain fighting is Pacquiao, who at this stage is only a moderate threat to Floyd because Mayweather hasn’t been in the gym much and has been preoccupied with spending his money. That and Pacquiao has a style that Floyd knows he can handle and Manny holds a version of the welterweight title. Granted, Floyd would probably make more money facing Nurmagomedov and Pacquiao is more or less his plan B if Manny gets by Broner. The problem with Mayweather facing Nurmagomedov is that Nurmagodev’s MMA fights don’t attract big interest and just maybe after the McGregor farce, both boxing and MMA fans are fed up with Mayweather’s faux fights and rip-offs – and with him then rubbing it in their faces by bragging how much money he made. So perhaps fans have wised up and will only consider paying to see Floyd fight another boxer – therefore Pacquiao becomes relevant to him.

With it no longer a secret that Mayweather and Pacquiao are only interested in robbing the public, enter Adrien Broner. If there’s another fighter who has been rewarded with big fights after posting underwhelming performances every time he has faced an upper-tier fighter, I don’t know of him. Broner is 3-2-1 in his last six bouts, having faced two championship caliber opponents in Shawn Porter and Mikey Garcia. He lost on the judges’ cards by a collective 16 points versus Porter and 14 against Garcia….in other words he didn’t compete and after the first third of those fights you could’ve turned to something else and you wouldn’t have missed a thing…other than Broner scoring a knockdown over a coasting and careless Porter in the 12th round.

Broner, 29, is a highly skilled boxer, and when he fights he shows flashes of what he could’ve been but never was. Adrien’s problem is he has a low boxing IQ and never cared to expand it. He’s let his weight balloon up and he’s lazy. Actually, Broner doesn’t like to fight and does it because he’s pretty good at it and he likes the notoriety it brings him. Other than that, he’s a contented loser and that makes him perfect for an aging Pacquiao.

When they get in the ring Manny can count on Broner fighting no more than 30 seconds per round and posing and loafing for the remaining 2:30. Adrien will talk up a great fight, saying he knows time is running out and he needs a sensational showing, but once again his words won’t translate into deeds…they never do. Pacquiao, knowing that a potential Mayweather rematch hinges on how he looks, will show up prepared and ready for battle. Manny has been around the block a few times and knows nothing will escalate the interest in another fight with Mayweather like a good showing and perhaps him being the first to stop Broner inside the distance.

Hopefully boxing fans won’t be asked to shell out PPV dollars to watch Pacquiao vs. Broner. But it’s boxing, so nothing should come as a surprise. The only given here is that Broner doesn’t hold any advantage over Pacquiao in size or skill, which isn’t normally the case with Manny. Moreover, he’s facing a fighter who will fold and break the first-time things get tough, and if we know one thing about Pacquiao it’s that he doesn’t make it easy for anybody. And I expect him to feed off of Broner’s weak constitution as the fight progresses. In addition to that this is the perfect good guy versus bad guy match up.

The one thing that might add intrigue to Pacquiao-Broner is that Broner is an easy guy to root against and a ton of fans would love to see nice guy Manny Pacquiao beat him up and humiliate him. And if the fight comes to fruition, count on that being how it unfolds. Yes, Pacquiao fights the perfect guy in order to set up a rematch with Mayweather and Broner will exit the ring a loser once again, only with a little more money to flush down the toilet.

Frank Lotierzo can be reached at GlovedFist@Gmail.com

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